It's a Package Deal

By Francis Frangipane

In 1983 I was asked to serve as pastor of a faith church. I had been away from the ministry for three years and I had no idea what a “Faith” church was, except that faith, as a biblical concept, seemed fairly sound. So, I agreed.

I should add, this was not just any faith church, it was a satellite-dish-in-the-front-yard faith church. Painted across the top of the dish in huge, bright red letters were the words, "Jesus Is Lord."

I should also explain that my three year hiatus between pastorates was due, in part, to a deep sense of failure I was carrying. A member of my former church died from a virus that, within four days, left her completely paralyzed. I had been with her, fasting and praying during this time. But when she died on the fifth day, the helplessness I felt crushed my confidence in prayer. It was the most traumatic experience of my young ministry.

The Sword of the Spirit

By Francis Frangipane

Christ not only came to set captives free, He came to train and empower the recently freed to be warriors. We may not always walk perfectly, but because God causes all things to work for good, we still can walk triumphantly. How can we, imperfect Christians, walk triumphantly? The Bible says we overcome "because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of [our] testimony, and [we do] not love [our lives] even when faced with death" (Rev. 12:11).

These three things - Christ's atoning blood, our testimony of God's eternal word and choosing to not love our own lives - secure us in the place of victory. We are a covenant people, a people purchased for God from every nation. Yes, we still sin, but God has placed the iniquity of us all upon His Son, Jesus Christ (Isa. 53). When the enemy comes to accuse and condemn us for our failures, we must remind ourselves that every sin we have ever committed has been nailed to Christ's cross. The entire "certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us," has been paid in full by the blood of Jesus Christ! (Col. 2:14).